Collaborative effort underway to improve Huntington Beach water quality
On Wednesday, July 27, a public meeting was held at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center to kick off a local project entitled, “A Holistic Watershed Approach to Health at Huntington Beach.” This project is part of the U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and is designed to improve recreational water quality at Huntington Beach by identifying potential pollution sources within the Porter Creek Watershed.
Nearly two dozen residents listened as Amy Roskilly, Conservation Education Coordinator for the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, and I presented information about watersheds, sources of pollution and ways to minimize – or in some cases reverse – environmental damage.
The project will also provide for the development of a Contamination Prevention Plan outlining the steps needed to improve water quality in the watershed through the use of best management practices and strategies. Through community education and outreach, this project is also designed to increase public awareness of water quality issues and to demonstrate how individual actions can impact the watershed. The project is based on six years of collaborative research with the University of Toledo and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
On October 16, we will be inviting Bay Village and Westlake teachers to participate in a full-day Project WET workshop at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. Project WET is a nationally accredited science course that integrates hands-on, kid friendly projects into the science curriculum. For more information about Project WET please go to http://projectwet.org/use-project-wet/lesson-plans-teacher-water/.
The Nature Center will be hosting family-friendly Adopt-A-Beach events in August, September, and October to record data on beach conditions. This information will be entered into a database to help improve Lake Erie’s water quality. For more information on Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s programs, please see http://www.lensc.org/education/index.htm.
GLRI Project partners include: the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cleveland Metroparks, the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, the University of Toledo, the cities of Bay Village and Westlake, and the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.
For additional information on this project, please call at 216-201-2001, ext. 1242, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More info can also be found on the GLRI website at: greatlakesrestoration.us.
Suzanne Krippel is Environmental Health Services Program Manager for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.